About the Match
The eighth edition of the ICC Champions Trophy will be held in England and Wales between 1st and 18th of June, 2017. The first week of the tournament itself will feature one of the rarer and most eagerly awaited matchups in modern times, India vs Pakistan. These two teams will take on each other in the 4th match of the tournament at Birmingham on 4th June. This is one of the most anticipated fixtures in the cricket calendar and both the sides should be completely fired up for the most important matchup of the league stage.
India is the current third-ranked ODI team in the world as well as the defending champions for this edition of the ICC Champions Trophy. Though a lot has changed for India since their title win in 2013, they have a new captain now for starters, but they still are a pretty good ODI side and would be looking to defend their title successfully in England.
They will begin their title defense against arch-rivals Pakistan against whom they have traditionally had a very strong record in the ICC events. India has been placed in a group where all four teams are fairly strong and established ODI units, and thus making the semi-finals will depend a lot upon the kind of start India are able to get in their first match.
The last Champions Trophy, which India went on to win, was also held in England and so India should be fairly comfortable with the conditions. Indian batsmen will not mind the flat tracks that have been on display in recent times in England and India has surely got a good enough pace attack to utilize any swing and bounce available.
India has chosen a pretty experienced squad for this tournament and the recent ODI form of MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh should provide them some comfort. Though Captain Virat Kohli has not had a good IPL and him coming back to form for this game would be very important. The bowlers all look in good rhythm but Mohammad Shami, who is making a comeback from injury, will need to hit form quickly.
India is the defending champion and one of the better ODI teams around, and going by the recent ODI form and their overall record in ICC events against Pakistan, they should be able to overcome this Pakistan side hindered by controversies both within and outside their squad.
Pakistan has had a really poor last couple of years in ODI cricket. They are the eighth-ranked ODI team in the world currently, behind Bangladesh, and this perfectly highlights how much the Pakistan team has fallen behind in ODI cricket with respect to all the other major teams.
Pakistan has had a typically absurd start to their Champions Trophy campaign, without having played even a single game, with one of their main batsmen, Umar Akmal, having been sent back to Pakistan after failing a fitness test in England. Pakistan will face India in their first game of the tournament and despite all the controversies surrounding them, they definitely possess the talent to surprise everyone and get one up against India.
Pakistan has traditionally always had a good pace attack, and so their bowlers should be able to make good use of the conditions on offer in England. It has always been Pakistan’s batting which has led to their downfall, and their batsmen might not enjoy the English conditions as much as their bowlers.
Pakistan’s captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, will have to play an important role not just with the bat, but also as a leader to bring together this team in these times of difficulty and to bring out the best out of each and every member of this squad.
Pakistan is a very unpredictable, flamboyant and aggressive side, and predicting their performances can be very tricky. But the kind of form they have been in recently, it does not look likely that they will be able to beat a far superior ODI unit like India.
India has always dominated Pakistan in ICC events, but the Champions Trophy is the only tournament where Pakistan has got a win against India, and this must provide some sort of comfort and optimism to the Pakistan team. But despite this piece of history, Pakistan is a team suffering from controversies, and on the other hand, India appears to be a well settled and highly professional outfit. India has had a better recent record in ODI cricket as well and all these factors give them an upper hand in this contest.